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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Opening speech delivered by Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos at the Press Conference for the relaunching of “Areti Kai Tolmi” Show on ERT TV

“The “Areti kai Tolmi” (Virtue and Boldness) TV show is the oldest show on Greek Television. There was always a show on Greek TV concerning the Armed Forces , up to June 2013 when the national broadcaster was abruptly silenced.  It has been a familiar and recognizable TV show for approximately 50 years. Until 1992 the show was produced by the State broadcaster, and then the Armed Forces took over, specifically  the Press Office of the Ministry of National Defence and the Army Broadcasting Service assumed the executive production assisted by all Staffs.

Tasos Birsim will be the director of the new show, who kindly accepted our invitation to assume this position on a non profit basis. Only the show expenses and the expenses of the three journalists will be covered in cooperation with you all. I will ask all MoD editors, on a rotation basis to be determined by you, to participate in the show.

The presenters of the show will be Alexia Tasouli and Vicky Papalouka and Tasos Zorbas will be the chief editor. ERT director Dimitris Mitsionis will also contribute with his experience as one of the oldest members of the show.

The show will be aired with the assistance of the Army – Air Force and Navy  Broadcasting Services, the representatives of the Staffs, the personnel of the MoD Press Office, the military personnel and experienced civilian personnel.  

This show will be a bit different to the show of 2013. The first part will present the actions of the three Staffs and will present each time one to two Units of the Armed Forces. The second part will present the life of one member of the Armed Forces. Our effort is to promote the humane side of the Armed Forces members, the Officers, NCOs, the draftees and the territorial guards. The show will focus on the fact that besides contributing to the security of the country and defending the territorial integrity and national sovereignty, our personnel are simple people with their families, with their own problems , their assignments, leading a life more difficult than the lives of our fellow citizens.  
The third part will be about the activities of the Ministry of National Defence. Allow me to clarify at this point that this will not be a show about the weekly travels of the Minister. For example, the first show will present an interview by HNDGS Chief. It will also include the international activities of our Armed Forces in our great Alliances, NATO and the EU.  It will include interviews of foreign Officers, as well as the political leadership of the Allied Forces. At the same time it will promote the social contribution of the Armed Forces, whether it be the work of the Studies and Constructions Unit, whether the rescue activities of the Armed Forces. Finally, with the help of the Armed Forces Archives we will present historical facts, referring each time to the Anniversary coinciding with the day the show is aired.   

We decided to begin the show with the current personnel serving at the MoD, without hiring new personnel, courtesy of Tasos Birsim, and of course with the available technical capabilities of the Staffs. The first shows were edited at STAR TV facilities, and we wish to thank them in particular for allowing us to use their studios for hours galore.

In due time we will be able to procure all assets necessary so that everything is done by the Ministry of National Defence.

I have made my contacts with the TV stations and I would publicly like to ask all central channels as well as regional TV stations to air the show. As agreed the show will be broadcast by ERT at 11:30 hrs, on Sundays. Simultaneously it will be made available to all private TV channels. Hence, its broadcasting by all channels will be free so that the Greek people can be informed on the Armed Forces Activities.

In the past we were faced with many difficulties and we are asking for the contribution, the assistance and active participation of military editors. We are open to proposals so that this show – which will belong to all of us – will be a show which will evoke the interest of the viewers and will try to keep the Greek people informed on Army matters”.